Land of the Knee: Scottish firm’s pad exports saving US workers from pain

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A SCOTTISH firm is doubling its exports of kneepads to the US after they proved a hit with construction workers.

Recoil Kneepads product was invented by a University of Strathclyde student to reduce knee pain and potentially career-ending conditions.

The East Kilbride company has been selling its kneepads on Amazon after going on a three-week US State Department-sponsored trade mission.

With support from Glasgow City Council, Recoil Kneepads identified the US as a key target market.

Hamilton’s business career started by designing new kneepads for her dad

US construction workers are much more likely to look at ways to prevent workplace injuries or conditions early in their careers because of healthcare costs.

Recoil Kneepads has been sending regular shipments of kneepads to customers right across the US – and it has already achieved sales in all 50 states.

The company’s owner and inventor, Vicky Hamilton, is gearing up for strong growth over the next 12 months.

Scottish-made $90 kneepads are more affordable than top-of-the-range American ones, which are anything up to $250.

Hamilton said of her product: “There’s a real gap in the US market and, thanks to Amazon, they are readily available right across the country.

“We’re excited about the growth potential, especially based on the feedback that we’re getting from American construction workers.”

She added: “It was a privilege to be part of the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative – a delegation of 50 European entrepreneurs who were invited to the US to learn about and experience the US entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“This took place just before the pandemic, so, as things open up again, it’s a great platform to build on. It makes me very proud to think that kneepads that I invented to help my dad’s arthritis have the potential to take America by storm.”

The 31-year-old came up with the idea after her father, Gordon Hamilton – a time-served carpenter who was suffering from arthritis – challenged her to design him new kneepads.

After graduating, it took a year of fundraising and product development (including more than 100 prototypes) to get the kneepads to a final design stage.

The kneepads use use a patented coil spring system to absorb impact and spread pressure more evenly across the knee.

They also feature a wear-and-grip surface, a double Recoil spring action and comfort padding.

Glasgow City Council has supported Recoil Kneepads throughout the start-up process, including signposting opportunities and advising on tapping into vital funding.